West Oxfordshire District Council has opened a 2022/23 budget consultation on the District Council’s spending plans, and residents and businesses are being urged to give their views on where council tax will be spent as it prepares its budget for the next financial year.
The District Council is responsible for several local services such as waste collection, planning, licensing, housing, parking and leisure, with the county council delivering other services such as maintaining roads, adult social care, education, children’s services and public health.
12% of the district council’s expenditure comes from council tax collected locally, with the district and parish councils only receiving 10% of the total council tax bill residents pay, which is split between the district council, county council, police and fire service. Residents can see the exact split in their council tax bill.
The District Council gets the rest of its funding from income from certain services such as planning applications and Government funding which has been reducing year on year for the past decade.
Alongside reducing funding, the cost of delivering services increases year on year as external costs, such as energy, fuel for vehicles and sending waste for recycling, rises.
The budget consultation is now live and is available on the West Oxfordshire District Council website at https://www.westoxon.gov.uk/budget/ until 12 January 2022. Residents can also fill in a paper copy by visiting the council offices in Woodgreen, Witney.
Councillor Suzi Coul, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Over the past decade our funding has reduced, and the cost of delivering services has increased, meaning we need to manage the council finances carefully to deliver high-quality services.
“For our budget next year, we are pleased to say that through careful management, we can continue to provide services we know people value, such as free parking and local community grants, when we are experiencing some really high challenging financial pressures.
“We are also proposing to invest in improvements to local parks, tackling air quality issues and reviewing our local plan to strengthen our approach to important issues such as biodiversity and net zero carbon new homes. We will also continue to work hard to tackle climate change, bring in more affordable homes and support our local communities and economy.
“I would really like to get peoples views on what we are proposing and would encourage residents to take part in the consultation.”